New York lawmakers are poised to approve legislation known as the Dream Act that would extend state financial aid to students brought into the country illegally as children. The Senate passed the measure on Wednesday, with the Assembly expected to quickly follow. Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he’ll sign the measure.
The legislation was first introduced in 2013 by Senator José Peralta and then-Assemblyman Francisco Moya as the sponsors in each chamber. The bill had been blocked by Senate Republicans for years but gained new momentum this year when Democrats took control of the chamber.
The Jose Peralta New York Dream Act, which passed with a 40-20 vote, will allow New York children, regardless of immigration status, to qualify for merit-based scholarships and the New York State Tuition Assistance Program if they meet certain criteria. Applicants must have done one of the following:
- Attended an approved NYS high school for two or more years, graduated from an approved NYS high school and applied for attendance to a NYS college or university within five years of receiving their NYS high school diploma; or
- Attended an approved NYS program for a state high school equivalency diploma, received their state high school equivalency diploma and applied for attendance to a NYS college or university within five years of receiving their state high school equivalency diploma; or
- Are otherwise eligible for in-state tuition at SUNY, CUNY or community colleges as prescribed by their admission criteria.
1 New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/23/nyregion/dream-act-bill-passed.html
2 New York State Assembly: https://nyassembly.gov/leg/?bn=A.782&term=2019
3The New York State Senate: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/S1250
4 Gothamist News : http://gothamist.com/2018/10/05/nys_dream_act_midterms.php http://gothamist.com/2019/01/24/dream_act_new-york.php